Susan Farren, second from right, practices yoga during a retreat organized by First Responder Resilience LLC at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena , Calif., on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.(Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)
A burly man with a mop of blonde hair and a serious expression faced two rows of off-duty firefighters, police officers, paramedics and soldiers gathered in the carriage house of a Napa County vineyard.
Then he stretched his rear leg back, bent his front knee, reached both arms upward and barked, “Warrior pose!”
“Warrior pose!” responded the pupils in a military cadence, as they mimicked his stance.
The sight is a far cry from the usually meditative, tranquil, spandex-laden experience of American yoga.
It’s called “tactical yoga,” and it’s among a roster of therapeutic activities First Responder Resiliency teaches in its wellness conferences like this one at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena.
Since its inception in 2018, First Responder Resiliency says it has held hundreds of these events and trained nearly 6,000 first responders in mindfulness, leadership, addiction recovery, suicide awareness, stress reduction, nutrition and other wellness topics.
First Responders Resiliency board member, Cathy Wayne, and husband Dough Wayne, both of Minden, NV., pet "Tiller" a service dog pup, held by Bailey Farren, of Cotati, during "An Evening of Inspiration" benefit at the the First Responders Resiliency Center, in Cotati, Calif., on Saturday, November 13, 2021. (Photo by Darryl Bush / For The Press Democrat)